12/29/2014 03:38 EST | Updated 12/29/2014 03:59 EST

Vancouver Laneway Homes Hit Record Year In 2014, Says City


It was a record year for Vancouver laneway housing, according to the city.

A total of 357 laneway home permits were issued in 2014, compared to 345 in 2013 and 350 in 2012, according to a Sunday news release. This year also saw 953 new rental housing units approved.

"With more than half our city renting and some of the lowest vacancy rates in Canada, new rental housing is meeting a crucial need for Vancouver residents," Mayor Gregor Robertson said in the release.

"The success of our laneway housing program is delivering modest-income rental housing for seniors and young families, and new rental apartments are springing up along transit routes, providing a more affordable option than condos."

In Vancouver, one of the most expensive places to live, laneway housing is gaining traction. Dating back to the 1890s, they often functioned as short-term housing for owners while the main residence was under construction, or as secondary homes for guests.

Today, these small homes are designed to offer affordable housing, to maximize density, and to provide additional income for land owners.

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Photo gallery Vancouver Heritage Foundation Laneway House Tour 2014 See Gallery